Whether he's coaching youth soccer or helping families develop and achieve their financial goals, Consistent Wealth Builder Dad, Shad Thomas is the ultimate modern parent who is balancing an impressive career and an active and sporty family life.
Meet Shad Thomas, our Consistent Wealth Builder Dad. True to his name, Shad has a consistently impressive career and resides with his family in Alexandria, Virginia. Shad serves as the Vice President and Wealth Advisor at United Bank. Prior to becoming a Wealth Advisor, Shad served as a Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard and as a Finance Officermanaging the U.S. Coast Guard's budget. Also, during his years in the Coast Guard, Shad oversaw patrol boats in New England, California, and Hawaii. After retirement, he started a new chapter in wealth management and banking.
In addition to having a stellar career, Shad is a proud father of four children ages 3, 5, 8, and 10. Also, Shad is active in the local community. In fact, Shad serves on the Board of Directors for Agenda: Alexandria and also coaches youth sports.
Shad and JulieAnn love to travel internationally and will celebrate their fourteenth wedding anniversary this month. Prior to family life, he and Julie lived in Melbourne, Australia for six months and continue to take their family abroad when the opportunity presents itself.
Aside from being a dedicated family man and a well-respected leader in the community, Shad is passionate about helping families with their financial health. In fact, he loves to use his financial knowledge to advise people on how to manage their finances. Shad earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University and studied Financial Planning at Georgetown University so his clients are in good hands. Other fun facts about Shad include being Captain of the Men's Basketball Team at the Coast Guard Academy and being born in Japan! Understandably, Shad's twenty years of military service and his career in finance lends itself to a modern, consistent, and clean-cut style.
Which three words best describe your style? Modern, Comfortable, and Consistent.
What are your favorite places to work out? Water sports and running seem to calm my mind. I like to go early morning stand up paddleboarding on the Potomac or take a run down the Parkway. When I'm in New York, I always try to find time to run through Central Park. In addition, I love kicking a soccer ball or shooting baskets with my kids at the park.
Who’s your favorite fitness icon? Someone who is comfortable on the water, probably Laird Hamilton.
What’s your best fitness advice? Finding a fitness partner who enjoys the same type of workouts and will keep you on track.
What trend did you love at the time, but now cringe when you see old photos? For a brief period, I was trying to emulate the Eddie Vedder grunge look during the 90s.
What’s your dad superpower? I asked my kids this question and the common response was that I am good at play wrestling with them on the floor. Wrestling with them is really fun but I’d like to think I’m good at coaching and connecting with the kids on my soccer team.
Facial hair or clean-shaven? Clean-shaven, this goes back to my Coast Guard roots.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? I love walking around Old Town Alexandria together – we bring along a soccer ball and kick it around at the city center, the waterfront, or at a park.
What’s been your best family vacation? We rented a family house on the Parc de la Tete d’Or in Lyon, France. The city is friendly and walkable, and everyone had a great time. We enjoyed walking around and eating lots of French baguettes.
Best parenting advice: I make it a point to spend some one-on-one time with each of my kids every day. Since I have four kids, oftentimes, it is only for a few minutes, but that time is super important to connect and grow together. I try to completely focus on them, listen to them, and pay attention to what is important to them.
Parenting true confession: We’ve never really had a strong bedtime routine for the kids since having our fourth and they normally stay up way too late. I wouldn’t recommend this strategy to new parents.
What’s your best tip to go from working dad to fun dad mode? I try to take 3 minutes to sit and clear my mind from the day’s events. This is still a work in progress, and I’ll accept any help with this!
What’s your favorite family online delivery meal? Our go-to places for takeout are Dishes of India or Faccia Luna in Alexandria, VA.
It’s your turn to cook, what do you make? Thai Red Curry Chicken. I grill the chicken and use a rice cooker for the Jasmine rice.
What’s your go-to outfit to meet clients? All of my suits are from Charles Tyrwhitt and I have a navy-blue suit that is definitely my go-to outfit for in-person meetings (pre-COVID-19).
What’s your favorite hack to balance work and family life? I try not to check work email after dinner and bedtime routine for the kids.
What’s your motto for work? Bring curiosity to work every day.
What’s your favorite part of your job? I love getting out in the community and meeting new people. Having the opportunity to develop a great relationship with my clients is super rewarding.
You’re a wealth manager, what advice do you give to families starting out? In general, the first step is to make sure everyone is on the same page – have a conversation and develop short-term and long-term goals for the family. Next, understand what debt you have and know the interest you’re paying on this. After setting aside funds to handle emergencies, then figure out how to best make tax-advantaged vehicles work for you for the long-term. For example, consider an Individual Retirement Account(IRA), employer-sponsored retirement plan (401K), and a 529 plan for education.
What’s a finance tip to save more money? A helpful exercise that I go through with my clients is analyzing their monthly expenses and talking through the different spending areas. Once we see where the money is being spent, we normally uncover eye-opening savings opportunities during this exercise.
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch? Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. JulieAnn and I have enjoyed this show and can’t wait for season 2!
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be? Though we look nothing like each other, I select Patrick Dempsey. I met him when he was filming a show on my Coast Guard patrol boat in L.A. He was really friendly and we had a great conversation. I guess he wins the honor of playing me 😊.
What’s your favorite sport and why? European soccer; I enjoy learning about the players that come from all over the world with different backgrounds. Two teams I follow closely are Chelsea and Olympique Lyon. When I can, I love to get out on the ocean. Being from Florida, and living in California and Hawaii, surfing has been a big part of my life.
If you could hang out with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be? I never got to meet my grandfather. He had a lot of interesting life experiences, from playing baseball to meeting my grandmother when he was stationed in Australia to fighting in World War II.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? Morocco, and the Pacific Northwest
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day? I love reading to our kids at night and then (if I haven’t fallen asleep yet) picking up a book for myself.
We love Shad’s modern clean-cut style both in the office or on the soccer field. Whether he’s wearing a suit and tie for work or a sporty attire when he’s coaching youth soccer, Shad is positive and prepared. We are a big fan of how Shad is an admirable example of a top-notch professional, a retired Military Commander, and an involved father who believes in spending quality time with each of his four children.
We can learn from Shad’s consistent and thoughtful approach towards his career, his family time, fitness, and finding the fun in life by traveling with JulieAnn and their four kids. Regardless of whether Shad is providing financial guidance for clients, serving as a community leader, or giving his undivided attention to each of his four children, he’s well-prepared for his many active roles as father, husband, Wealth Advisor, Board Member, and volunteer youth soccer coach. We can all be inspired by Shad’s prudent approach to family finance and his passion for staying involved in his local community and using his talents to help others.
And for more fun and stylish dads, be sure to check out FamilyApp’s Dad on the Street Channel!